Napster Is A Cool Cat

    February 4, 2005

Apple is cool. The iPod is cool. iTunes is cool. Now Napster has joined that crowd. So what does that make Napster … well … cool, of course.

As we all know Napster was the ultimate in cool when it allowed us to download free music. The new napster would like some of that coolness back and as you can see by press and blogger quotes, their strategy may be working:

Napster: The Cat is Cool

“So I’m at work, and I’ve been listening to iTunes for Windows for the past several weeks and I’ve bought three albums in that time ($30), but even then with the CDs I’ve ripped and the new albums, my music collection has gotten a bit stale.

So today I noticed in an article about how there have been 25 million iTunes downloads which is kicking everyone elses ass, that Napster has been launched so I decided to download it and try it out. Very, very cool. It worked right out of the box, the set up and sign-in was flawless and the sound is good.

I’ve never tried any other music service besides iTunes before, so that’s what I was comparing it to and I’d have to say thumbs up on the new Napster. It looks and works pretty much just like iTunes, except that if you have a subscription to the Premium service, you can stream and listen to just about any song in the library. This is *awesome*.”

“How would you feel if you build up a list of some 500 songs you got off this service, one day you just don’t feel like paying the $15 anymore and then you realize you’re sort of SOL because you’re actually renting the music. How cool.

If anything, attacking Apple straight on, even naming iTunes in their commercial, they’ll end of giving Apple even more publicity. Like they need it.”

“Napster was cool because it was free. People are might start paying for songs on Napster because they think it’s a good way to support musicians. But by giving musicians just a few cents from each sale, Napster destroys a huge opportunity. Instead of creating a system that gets virtually all of fans’ money directly to artists– finally possible with the internet– Napster takes a big step backwards.”

” So Bro Napster and the internationally famous Napster Marketing Team have brought us Napster-to-Go.
And by the way, they just happened to mention it’ll cost you only $15.00 a month to listen to zillions and sqadillions of songs on your iPod-killing portable media device thingy.
And, by the way again, they also couldn’t help blurting out that filling a 40 gig iPod costs $10,000 via iTMS. The possibility that iPod owners already own or have access to a rippable CD collection was not entertained.
Fair enough.
Until I launched Calculator.
Let’s take an average of 30 days in a month. That gives us 43,200 minutes of listening time. If we say the average song is 3 miniutes long that would mean 14,400 songs a month if you refuse to sleep eat, wash, work, study, talk to anyone, have sex, shop, watch television, read etc. So just how cool a deal is this Napster to Go thing anyway?
Those marketing peeps could sell life insurance to a corpse!”

“Saw Shawn Fanning in Palo Alto

I bumped into Shawn Fanning, the napster dude, on University Ave. I think he was with his girlfriend, but he seemed quite busy putting out some fire on his cell phone and almost ran into me. Must’ve been an emergency call or something. I thought he looked familiar for a second and said it was cool, no worry. Moment later, yup, it was the napster dude.”

“Napster is “changing the music industry forever” again. 15 GBP per month for as much music you want to download is a cool offer for the consumers, but I would like to know how this affects the payments to the owners of the music? Is Napster taking the risk and paying the authors per downloaded track? Or are the record labels selling songs to Napster on subscription basis?”

“Scott: I wonder if that will do any good? I guess the real question is: If doesn’t work on the MILLIONS of iPods out there, then who cares?

Travis: The just it, Apple still makes money selling millions and millions of iPods so, does it even really matter? Napster can’t fight “cool”.

Scott: If the Napster songs aren’t iPod compatible, or even importable into iTunes, they are about to waste 30m bucks. The other problem is, people aren’t going to replace their iPods yet. They are still way too useful. Maybe Steve did the right thing closing the iPod to other services Damn him and his crystal ball

Travis: haha, I am still on the fence about that one. So they sold 4.46 million iPods with it closed to iTunes. Would it have been 8.92 million with it open?

Scott: Would it have been? I have doubts I think few buyers ask that question prior to purchase
It’s more Is that there the I-Pod I sawed on the television the uther nite? Can I listen to Dire Straits on that there contraption?

Travis: hahaha, Dire Straits. Yup, that’s why I don’t think Napster can fight “cool“.”

“Buzzwords aren’t just the hot air that they’re frequently thought of. Sometimes they’re the buzz cause they’re actually cool. Napster was the buzz once. Even cooler is when buzzwords combine, create new buzzwords, and the new buzzword is actually worth the buzz. And it’s going to happen soon.”

“I’m won’t say this is the best solution – but it does give Apple something to think about. Now if only someone could build a device as cool as an I-Pod :)

“napster vs. apple, round one

Read today that Napster will have a superbowl ad promoting their service Napster to Go and kicking off an anti-iTunes Music Store campaign called Do the Math. Apparently it allows you to download as much music as you want to your mp3 player for $15 a month. Sounds pretty cool. Of course there are a few catches. You have to own a PC running XP and be using one of only eight (currently, more to come) players that are compatible with the service and of course if you ever cancel your Napster subscription or Napster goes out of business you won’t be able to play that music any longer.”

“Napster is coming out swinging at iTunes by launching a $14.95/month unlimited download service. That just may be worth it, assuming high speed access and the willpower to take first and listen later. Take, take, take. Toke, toke, toke. Music cool. ”

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.